By Jesse Wood
Opening just before the New Year began, the Shulls Mill Road bridge over Lance Creek is now open to traffic. Crews plan to return to the job site once the weather breaks, either in the spring or sooner if warm weather arrives earlier to finish the final grading.
Vannoy and Sons tore out the 54-year-old bridge and built an emergency-temporary access on-site because of the lengthy detour of about three miles along Old Turnpike Road.
The bridge bisects the Hound Ears Golf Course. The bridge replacement was expected to cost a total of $717,000.
The bridge opened ahead of schedule – as the detour was expected to be in place until Jan. 15.
Doug Eller, NCDOT Division 11 Resident Engineer, said that the final paving would be complete by May and that an observation period would be in effect until October to ensure vegetation is established before maintenance of the road reverts to the NCDOT.